Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Landesman|
|Screenplay by||Peter Landesman|
Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy|
by Vincent Bugliosi
James Badge Dale|
Jackie Earle Haley
Marcia Gay Harden
Billy Bob Thornton
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Distributed by||Exclusive Media Group|
|Box office||$1.4 million|
Parkland is a 2013 American historical drama film that recounts the chaotic events that occurred following John F. Kennedy's assassination. The film was written and directed by Peter Landesman, and produced by Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and by Bill Paxton with Exclusive Media's Nigel and Matt Sinclair. The film is based on Vincent Bugliosi's 2008 book Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Parkland weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital; Dallas's chief of the Secret Service; an unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most famous home movie in history; the FBI agents who were visited by Lee Harvey Oswald before the shooting; the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, left to deal with his shattered family; and JFK's security team, witnesses to both the president's death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson's rise to power.
- James Badge Dale as Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Jr.
- Zac Efron as Dr. Charles James "Jim" Carrico
- Jackie Earle Haley as Father Oscar Huber
- Tom Welling as Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman
- Colin Hanks as Dr. Malcolm O. Perry
- David Harbour as James Gordon Shanklin
- Marcia Gay Harden as Head Nurse Doris Nelson
- Ron Livingston as James P. Hosty
- Jeremy Strong as Lee Harvey Oswald
- Billy Bob Thornton as Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels
- Jacki Weaver as Marguerite Oswald
- Paul Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder
- Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Lillian Zapruder
- Bitsie Tulloch as Marilyn Sitzman
- Brett Stimely as President John F. Kennedy
- Kat Steffens as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy
- Gil Bellows as David Powers
- Sean McGraw as Lyndon B. Johnson
- Rory Cochrane as Earl Rose
- Mark Duplass as Kenneth O'Donnell
- Jimmie Dale Gilmore as Reverend Saunders
- Matt Barr as Paul Mikkelson
- Jonathan Breck as Winston Lawson
- Gary Grubbs as Dr. Kemp Clark
- Bryan Batt as Malcolm Kilduff
- Glenn Morshower as Mike Howard
- Armando Gutierrez as Officer Glen McBride
- Austin Nichols as Secret Service Agent Emory Roberts
- Gary Clarke as Admiral George Burkley
Production began in January 2013 in Austin, Texas. Writer/director Peter Landesman has stated that the film does not explore the various conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination.
The major hospital scenes were filmed in a building housed on the campus of Austin State Hospital in Austin, due to the period look and feel of the building.
Parkland premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, and was also screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Coinciding with the assassination's 50th anniversary year, the film was released theatrically in the United States on October 4, 2013.
Parkland received mixed reviews, holding a 50% rating, based on 123 reviews, on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Although its decision to look at John F. Kennedy's assassination through uncommon perspectives is refreshing, Parkland never achieves the narrative cohesion its subject deserves." On Metacritic, the film has a 51/100 rating, signifying "mixed or average reviews".
Historian Peter Ling awarded Parkland four out of five stars for enjoyment and three stars for historical accuracy. Reviewing the film, he praised its attempt to "capture the desperate efforts made to save Kennedy in the operating room." He told historyextra, "It shows that the head nurse, Doris Nelson (played by Marcia Gay Harden), had to take a piece of JFK's skull and some brain tissue from Mrs Kennedy [Jackie picked up a piece of her husband's skull at the scene], and that junior doctor, Jim Carrico (played by Zac Efron), had to be told to stop the frenetic but fruitless cardiac massage at one o'clock, when the team declared JFK dead."
However, he noted the "suspect influences" on Abraham Zapruder's decision to hand over his film to Life magazine. He said, "Once copies have been given to the Secret Service and the FBI, Zapruder has to choose from many media outlets who want to buy the film. He chooses Life because he says he respects the publication, but the movie seems to hint that any suppression of the film's contents is in line with Zapruder's wishes, and not because of suspect influences at Life itself, whose managing director had CIA connections."
Additionally it had always been a record of the times that Dallas Chief of Anesthesiology Dr. Marion 'Pepper' Jenkins was the recipient of a piece of brain material handed over to him by Jackie Kennedy." Furthermore, it was claimed by Dr. Jenkins that he was handed brain tissue and not skull, so unless the First Lady was handing out at the least multiple pieces of her husbands brain or skull matter it then becomes evident of more stretches in truth throughout the film, whether they were noted for accuracy by historians or not.
- Killing Kennedy (2013), a made-for-TV film about the same events, also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.
- Bobby (2006), a film detailing events, some fictional, around the RFK assassination, directed by Emilio Estevez.
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- Richford, Rhonda (September 6, 2013). "Deauville: 'Parkland's' Peter Landesman on Tackling JFK's Assassination and Moving From Journalism to Film (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Friedman, Roger (December 1, 2012). "James Badge Dale Will Play Lee Harvey Oswald's Brother". Showbiz411.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (December 19, 2012). "Zac Efron Will Play The First Doctor To Look At JFK In Assassination Pic 'Parkland'".
- "James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks and More Head to Parkland". Comingsoon.net. Exclusive Media. 25 January 2013.
- Tom Welling Heads to Parkland
- Chitwood, Adam (December 19, 2012). "Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden Join JFK Assassination Drama PARKLAND". Collider.com.
- Puig, Claudia (October 3, 2013). "'Parkland' tries too hard to cover JFK's murder". USA Today.
- Sneider, Jeff (January 1, 2013). "Actor Jeremy Strong comes on strong". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
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- Tartaglione, Nancy (1 September 2013). "Venice: 'Parkland' Helmer Peter Landesman On Conspiracy-Free JFK Assassination Pic". Deadline London. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Alexander, Bryan (28 July 2013). "'Parkland' shines new light on Kennedy assassination". USA Today. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Venice film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. July 25, 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. July 23, 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
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- "Parkland Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- "Historian at the Movies: Parkland reviewed". historyextra.com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "JFK in Trauma Room One: The Missing Piece: Last Moments Before Death". Retrieved July 30, 2018.